The Technion

Below, you will find resources for students staying at the Technion for the summer, including the arrival process, what housing is like, what privileges you have as a student, and the best places to eat and shop near campus.  A campus map may be found here

The Technion also offers an app: Download for Android

How to get to the Technion

Purchase a train ticket to Haifa Hof HaCarmel. The ride is about an hour and will have 3 or 4 stops. The train will announce the stop, you can ask someone, or you can follow along on the Israel Railways app.

Once you exit the train, turn right to continue into the station. Do not exit the first turnstiles on the left, although if you do, simply turn right again, follow the tunnel under the tracks, and then enter the bus station. Assuming you do not exit the first turnstiles on the left, continue walking until you see the later set of turnstiles. Follow the path to get into the station, then exit via the station via the rotating bars. Note that you will need your train ticket to exit the station; you have to swipe it again.

The bus station is kind of hidden. There is a metal turnstile on one side of the entrance, which is hooded. There is usually a guard and metal detectors. The guard may want to open your bags, or he may just wave you through. If the detector goes off, don't worry-- this is common, and the guard probably won't say anything.

When you enter the bus station, continue through a long hallway until you reach the escalator and stairs. Ascend, and turn left along the fast food counters. Then turn right, and the bus platforms will be available. If you arrive during the day and not during Shabbat, proceed to bay 15 for the 123 bus (runs every 10 minutes but drops you off about 10 minutes from the Technion) or to bay 14 for the 11 bus (runs every hour but drops you off on campus.) The bays have signs on the side that tell you which bus stops there. Be careful to check the number of the bus at bay 14 before you board it; 5 or 6 busses pick people up there. If the 11 bus is less than 30 minutes away, it’s worth it to wait for it. Haifa is incredibly steep, especially if you’re towing luggage.

The busses cost about 6 shekels, and only take cash. The all-gold coins are called agarot, and they say 10... meaning 10 cents, or the equivalent of 2 pennies. Pay with the silver coins or with the gold and silver coin that has a 10 on it, instead. Once you pay, a receipt will be printed. Take it. Some drivers are touchy about this.

The ride is about 30 minutes. Use Moovit to tell you when to get off. 

If you arrive on bus 11, 17, 76, 77, 144, or 145: The Technion is gated, and there are guards at the two gates. When you walk or get driven onto campus, you will need your ID. Busses will stop at the gate and open both doors. Stay seated—a Technion guard (wearing fluorescent yellow in 2018) will get on, walk up and down, and maybe say something to the driver. This is normal. The next stop is at one of the main roundabouts, and the following stop is at the Visitor’s Center. If you need to get to the dorm offices, get off at the roundabout stop. If you’re alone on the bus, you may have to ask the driver to stop—do this by pressing the yellow or red button on the bus handle (super obvious). 

If you arrive on bus 123: The bus drops you off about 10 minutes away, unless you transferred to one of the busses mentioned above. Navigate to campus. When you walk on, you will need an ID. Passports, driver's licenses, and student IDs are all okay. Depending on the guard, your bags may be searched, and you may be asked questions about why you are there.


Checking in to the Technion


With your luggage, head to the Dorms Office, located near the Main Entrance, aka West Gate, aka Canada Gate. The Housing Office is located on Google Maps, but the location isn't super accurate. It is open from 8-1130 and 130-2, Sunday-Wednesday. The door will be locked; you will need to knock and you will be buzzed in.

Once you enter, tell the official your dorm, and they will give you your key. Head to your dorm, make sure the key works, and drop off your luggage.

Here is a helpful map of the Technion, if you're having trouble finding your dorm. 

Paying for Housing, Checking in with Orna or Michal, and Receiving your Student ID

First, head to the Technion International Office. It is near the Miami Student Center, the camous thrift shop, and just a few minutes from the Civil Engineering building. There are signs to the TI Office, or Technion International, which is located on the second floor of the soil engineering building.

Check in with Michal or Orna, whoever you have been assigned to. They have office hours, but you can also email them to set up an appointment. Michal usually takes care of housing, while Orna will give you your email password and check in about insurance. Either are great resources for any problems you run into.

For insurance, the Technion requires that you have a valid Israeli policy. If you do not or choose not to, you will have to sign a waiver. Remember that ISOS is your best resource in case of an emergency.

Now to the exciting part... paying for housing!

Allot 4 hours for housing

Pictured is the Ulmann Building, or the main Undergraduate Building. When you pay for housing, you will spend quite a bit of time here. Allot 4 hours to pay for housing, from about 900-1300. The process isn't difficult, just tedious.


1. Go to Michal and tell her you want to pay for housing. She will give you papers (that you need) and a map of the Technion, which can also be found on the Technion app.

2. Go to the Student Accounting Office. Their office hours are 11-1 every day, and there will be plenty of other students there waiting. From the International Office, go out the way you came, then take the stairs by the weird parking lot. Go all the way up until the next level of the campus, then make a left; the amphitheater will be on your left. The next building is the Ulmann Building, or the general undergraduate building. Enter, go straight until the end of the hallway, make a right, and then continue until you see the office on your right. It’s by a seating area—if you pass it, you’ve gone too far. Go into the office, and tell them that you want to pay for housing. They will need to see the papers from Michal. They will give you a weird-looking blue paper that tells you how much housing is. It should be about 3500 shekels.

3. Go to the bank. Exit the Ulmann the way you came, and then proceed straight up the hill towards the student center. The bank is pretty prominent (light and dark blue sign.) If you need to withdraw money, use the left-most kiosk. Insert your card, then it will let you change it to English. There is only one transaction per card swipe (no deposits and withdrawals at once). Withdraw whatever you need. Keep in mind that most banks have about a $500 daily withdrawal limit, which is about 1500 shekels. Go inside the bank, go up to the teller, present her your blue paper, and pay. Take a picture of your blue receipt and the full-page receipt they give you; send these to MISTI to get reimbursed.

4. Go back to Michal. Show her the blue paper (that has a stamp that says paid), she will make a copy, then give you your student ID.

Large Amount of Cash Needed for Housing

Housing must be paid in cash as of 2018. Expect housing to be about 3600 shekels for the summer. Your bank most likely has a withdrawal limit of about $500, or 1700 shekels, per day, in order to protect you from robbery. Thus, you will need to withdraw the cash over several days. Housing must be paid before you can receive your student ID.

Have Statement of Coverage Available

If you are covered by MIT Extended Insurance, obtain a statement of coverage, which can be done online. If not, have a copy of your personal insurance card, front and back, for when you meet with Michal or Orna.


A typical dorm room; this one is in Neve America

Information regarding the dorms will be given to you by the Technion prior to your arrival. You will be placed in one of three international dorms: Neve America, Canada, or New East. Neve America is at the top of the hill near the Main Gate, Canada is at the bottom of the hill near the Main Gate, and New East is by the Nesher gate.

The dorms are organized into suites that house 5 people, each getting their own room. Inside the room, you will have a bed with a twin xl mattress, a wardrobe with a mirror either inside the door or outside, and a desk. Some rooms with also have a chest of drawers as well as shelving on the walls. There will be outlets throughout the room, and a remote-controlled AC unit for every room. Each suite has two bathrooms and two showers. The suites will be single gender, and because there are only 3 dorms for international students, chances are that there will be fellow international students living with you.

Each suite has a kitchen outfitted with a 2-burner hot plate, toaster oven, full-size fridge, and microwave. Plates, pots and pans, cooking utensils, etc. will not be provided. Your roommates may have a system where there are shared plates, silverware, etc., or you may need to buy some, which you can do cheaply in Ziv or Grand Canyon. The same can be said for cleaning supplies. You should bring your own towels; the gym and swimming pool do not hand them out, unlike the Z Center, and you need a towel at the gym.

The Student Union

The logo of the Student Union, Asat

The Student Union runs the student side of things at the Technion. Think of them as the equivalent of the UA if the UA owned the Stud. Throughout the year, they will throw parties and host various events, including a career fair you can attend to nab free things (it's customary in Israel too). Asat is the one who you pay for laundry, as well as tickets for any campus-wide events.

Google lacks a picture of the Student Union building, so appreciate this picture of the Computer Science building, across the lawn from the Student Union.

The Student Union has four floors. The first floor has services, such as a place to load your card for laundry, open during Israeli business hours (9-1 or 9-3, depending). The second floor has a piano. The third floor has a bunch of fast food shops and a small grocery store that is the equivalent of Verde's in price and selection. The coffee shop on the third floor is fairly decent. The fourth floor has Junta, a pub, that has good burgers and cheap beer. It's also the only thing open on Shabbat on campus.  Beside the Junta is a dance studio, where students may attend salsa lessons for a nominal fee; signs display the dates and times. Outside the Junta is a booth to buy tickets for student events put on by Asat. There is a theater on the fourth floor that in 2018 only played episodes of Westworld and World Cup games. On the patio of the fourth floor, there is a Cafe Cafe, an Israeli chain offering good-quality sandwiches and salads at reasonable prices.

On Wednesdays during lunchtime during the semester, vendors come to campus. These vendors include fruit and vegetable stands, clothes, and children's books. During this time, nobody is allowed to have academic activities, so the students tend to congregate here to relax.


Before you arrive, the Technion will give you information about the laundry system, although they fail to list all of the laundry rooms. Ask your roommates where the closest one is. The laundry system functions like MIT in that there is a kiosk you pay for machines on; you cannot use cash, only your credit card or a loaded and activated student ID. There is an option to buy wash cycles with soap, but it is not guaranteed that the soap will be stocked, so it is recommended you purchase soap at the local supermarket (see Ziv Center and Grand Canyon mall).

Athletic Facilities

The indoor, 50 m pool, open year-round.

As a student, you may use the pool and track for free, although you are required to pay a nominal fee for the gym. The pool and gym are located by the Main Gate, and the track is located outside of campus.

The Pool

The pool hours can be found here (page is in Hebrew but Chrome will translate it; be careful with the times because they do not translate exactly.) Note that there are certain days when the pool is only open to men or to women. There are gates you need to pass in order to enter the pool. However, the student ID card issued to you will not work-- simply show the gate attendant your ID, and they will buzz you in.

There is an indoor 50 m pool that has 8 lanes for lap swimming, with the fastest on the right and the slowest on the left. A few lanes are left open for splashing around/ swim lessons. There is a hot tub in the left-hand corner of the deck. Outside, there is a baby wading pool with fountains and such. To the right, there is a 25 m pool that has lanes in half the pool, and space to play in the other half.

Anyone with long hair must wear a swim cap, and all women must wear a swim cap when in the pool. If you do not own a cap, there is a Speedo store right outside the gates where you can purchase one. Lap swimming follows the same etiquette rules as the US, except that Israelis have a habit of pushing off the wall right before someone does a flip turn.

The locker rooms are fairly nice, boasting extensive changing areas, showers, and restrooms.

If you are interested, the Technion has a master's swim team that meets 3 times a week to swim 3,000 meters in an hour. Practice times can be found here. Joining is free.


The Gym

The second floor of the gym.

To join the gym, head to the gym office, located on the second floor of the pool complex. The office is open until 16:00 every day except for Thursday. Joining the gym costs 200 shekels for the year, and the price drops to 100 shekels after July 1st. You will have to fill out a medical info sheet.

When using the gym, you must have a towel with you at all times, and it is customary to lay it over benches, seats, etc. Clip your weights, regardless of how much you lift.

Gym hours may be found here. The gym has two floors: the first offers machines, racks, and benches. The second has cardio machines, a fair number of bikes, and an area with mats and TRX bands.

Like the Zesiger center, the gym is crowded 17:00-21:00.


Ziv Center

Located a 5 minute walk from the Main Gate, Ziv center is a bustling square full of a variety of restaurants and stores. There are two cell phone stores that sell sim cards, a currency conversion place, a grocery store, and a pharmacy. Cofizz offers the cheapest iced cafe in Israel, except for the chain it copies, Cofix. Shemo has the best cakes within 3 km of campus. There is also a really good falafel place on the corner. The pub, Nola, though slightly expensive, is fairly popular. Tucked behind the "To Go" food counter is a cafe that offers the cheapest sit-down food in Ziv. The pharmacy has any toiletries you may have forgotten. The supermarkets are different from the US in that products stocked change every week, including brands and suppliers of produce, eggs, and hummus. When you check out from the supermarket, the first thing they will do is ask you if you have a rewards card. Right before they print the receipt, they will ask you how many bags you want; they're one agarot each (roughly 2 cents).

Grand Canyon

An Israeli mall, which has stories instead of sprawling.

In Israel, malls are about very common. The Grand Canyon, located a 5 minute bus ride away from the Main Gate, boasts has everything you could want, including an American Eagle and H&M, although clothes are more expensive than in the US. There is also a pharmacy and a supermarket larger than the one in Ziv. On a side note, for the carts, put in a 5 shekel coin to take one, and you get your coin back at the end of your purchase. There are a few cafes as well as sit-down restaurants, but there is also a typical food court with fast food.

There are many home equipment stores, especially good to buy pots and pans since the dorms don’t come with them. There is also a Nike, Adidas, Underarmour, and Asics store, as well as an outdoorsy/camping store that has all the equipment you might need if you plan to hike.

Best Places to Eat/ Haifa Night Life

The best bar in Haifa is called Patrick's. Located downtown, the beer is cheap and the place sits along a row of other restaurants, so you can listen to the band hired by the bar next door that charges double.

Suduch (each u is long) is an amazing sandwich shop, although the sandwiches are called toast (it just means they're toasted like a panini.) They have English menus, but the concept is simple: choose a type of bread, several meats, whether you want vegetables, and various sauces/ dressings. It’s reasonably priced and open late.